The higher the status of a person, the more magnificent funeral is put to him. In Egypt, the pyramids were built by the pharaohs, and numerous servants accompanied the dead rulers. And in China, along with the emperor Qin Shihuandi, a whole thousands of terracotta army were buried.
Today, the funeral of prominent politicians is becoming a truly nationwide event. This action is broadcast on television, and say goodbye to the leaders come thousands of people from all over the country. The most popular in history are the funeral of Ayatollah Khomeini, say goodbye to the Iranian leader about 10 million people.
But the largest television audience gathered a funeral farewell ceremony with the English princess Diana. Where there before it finals of the World Cup! The recent funeral of the North Korean leader Kim Jong Il with the 11-day national mourning resulted in truly national sorrow.
However, similar events of no lesser scale have happened in history more than once. It is interesting that the leaders of authoritarian regimes were buried with the greatest pomp. The most ambitious funeral in history will be discussed below.
Vladimir Lenin (April 22, 1870 – January 21, 1924).
This person stood at the origins of the creation of the Russian Social-Democratic Labor Party (Bolsheviks), after the accomplishment of the Revolution of 1917, he headed the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR. In fact, it was Lenin who became the full-fledged head of the young Soviet state. Politics Vladimir Ilyich actively engaged since the age of 17, in March 1898 he became one of the organizers of the First Congress of the RSDLP in Minsk. It is believed that it was Lenin who stood at the origins of the October Revolution of 1917, leading it, returning from abroad. The hard work and the consequences of the assassination of the leader in 1918 undermined his health. Since May 1922, Lenin is seriously ill. Since March 1923, he is in Gorki, near Moscow, where he tries to run a young country. Lenin dictates notes, letters, meets with his comrades-in-arms. In January 1924, the patient deteriorates sharply, and on January 21, 1850, Vladimir Ilyich dies at a brain hemorrhage. The leader’s body was put up for 5 days in the Hall of Columns of the House of Unions, where, despite strong frosts, half a million people came to say goodbye to him. Over time, the leader’s body was placed in the Mausoleum, since 1930 this building has become permanent. The flow of those wishing to say goodbye to Lenin did not weaken, only in the first month and a half about 100,000 people came to see him. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (March 12, 1881 – November 10, 1938).
Ataturk went down in history as the founder and first leader of the People’s Party of Turkey, he also became the first president of the young republic. At the age of 12 Atatürk entered the military school, becoming a regular employee. He even took part in the First World War. On April 23, 1920, this figure convened the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, where he was elected chairman of the Parliament and chairman of the Council of Ministers. A young country with the support of the USSR managed to survive in the Armenian-Turkish and Greco-Turkish war in the early 1920s. October 29, 1923, the Republic of Turkey was proclaimed with Ataturk at the head. Kemal was forced to carry out a number of reforms – the former empire was to become a secular state with a developed industry and a banking system. The authorities needed to solve the land issue and introduce a new education system. It was Kemal who laid the foundation for the future prosperity of Turkey. In 1934 he was given the surname Ataturk (“the father of the nation”). The first health problems the politician appeared in 1937, soon he was diagnosed with “liver cirrhosis”. The cause was chronic alcoholism. However, the politician continued to fulfill his duties until the last. On November 10, 1938, he passed away. The death of Ataturk became a true national mourning. In the ceremony of parting with him, numerous diplomatic delegations, and even foreign military units took part.The Soviet Union even sent a destroyer “Moscow”, a team with rifles in their hands participated in mourning events. Franklin D. Roosevelt (January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945).
Among all the American Presidents, it was Roosevelt who became elected to the fourth term. It was the 32nd country’s leader, who had to lead it through the Great Depression. In politics, Roosevelt came to be 28 years old, being a member of the Democratic Party. He visited Senator, Assistant Marine Minister and two term governor of New York State. In 1932, Roosevelt bypassed Herbert Hoover in the presidential elections, retaining his post in 1936, 1940 and 1944. The politician is known for his important economic reforms that allowed the country to reborn after the world economic crisis. During the Second World War, Roosevelt was one of the leaders of the anti-Hitler coalition, initiating the creation of the UN. Health policy for a long time was not important – since 1921, complications from poliomyelitis. As a result, this disease riveted Roosevelt to a wheelchair. The death of the President came on April 12, 1945 from a hemorrhage to the brain. The funeral ceremony was organized in an unusual way – the body did not exhibit farewells. The closed coffin was transported from the politician’s name to Warm Springs, Georgia in Hyde Park (New York). Throughout the route of the convoy, thousands of people met him. Only in Washington to say goodbye to the president came 300-400 thousand people. Warplanes flew over the funeral procession. After the farewell of relatives and diplomats with the body, the coffin on the carriage on a special train was sent to Hyde Park. Mahatma Gandhi (October 2, 1869 – January 30, 1948).
This man managed to become one of the main inspirers of the movement for India’s independence from the British Empire. Gandhi created a whole philosophy of nonviolent resistance. Politics, he took up in 1919, and two years later he headed the Indian National Congress. In 1934, Gandhi left his post, as ideological differences with his associates became quite principled. The Indian leader openly opposed caste inequality, seeking to end discrimination against the untouchables. In 1947, British India was divided into two irreconcilable and warring countries – Pakistan and India. The prolonged state-religious confrontation ended thanks to the hunger strike announced by Gandhi, which entailed a truce between the leaders of the two states. The first attempt on politics took place on January 20, 1948, when an exploded bomb did not bring victims. But after 10 days, Gandhi was shot during his prayers on the lawn in front of his house. According to Indian traditions, the body of the spiritual leader of the country was burned at the funeral pyre. But before this, to say goodbye to him came a lot of people – from one and a half to six million people. Joseph Stalin (December 21, 1879 – March 5, 1953).
From 1924 to 1953, Stalin was the leader of the Soviet Union, holding the post of Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars and the Council of Ministers. Stalin – an old party member, engaged in politics since 1895. In 1917, he was one of the members of the Central Committee of the RSDLP, occupying far from a strategic post. But after Lenin’s death, Stalin was able to take the reins of government to his hands, eliminating political rivals. The country’s leader became the main ideologue of industrialization and collectivization, which changed the face of the young power. But people paid for industrial achievements by mass repressions. During the Great Patriotic War, Stalin took upon himself the individual leadership of the country. He was the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, headed the State Defense Committee, was a People’s Commissar of Defense. After the war, Stalin initiated the creation in the USSR of nuclear weapons and the formation of communist states in Eastern Europe. Until the last days his power remained absolute.On March 2, 1953, Stalin suffered a paralysis, and he died according to official data from a cerebral hemorrhage on March 5 at 21.50. Already the next day the leader’s body was exhibited in the Hall of Columns of the House of Unions for a three-day farewell. More than two million people took part in it. These days on Trubnaya Square there was such a crush of those wishing to say goodbye that up to two thousand people died in it. On March 9, Stalin was buried in the Mausoleum, although in 1961 the body of an ambiguous leader was taken out of there and buried near the Kremlin wall. John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963).
The 35th American President became the first Catholic in that position. He was nominated by the Democratic Party. Kennedy managed to fight on the margins of World War II, having received two medals “For Courage”. The future politician at that time directed the torpedo boat. Since 1947, Kennedy came into politics, and the head of the country was able to become in 1960. Let the short-lived board of this President prove to be very significant. He carried out extensive economic reforms and began a movement for equalizing the rights of the black population. Under Kennedy, the Caribbean crisis erupted, which put the world on the brink of nuclear war. It was with him that American regular troops were introduced to South Vietnam. And the death of a popular politician in the country was due to his wound in the stomach in Dallas during the assassination attempt. The presidential motorcade was traveling along the streets of the city at that time, it was part of the election campaign. Kennedy’s death came just before his wife’s eyes. The killer was quickly found, it was Lee Harvey Oswald. A couple of days later he was killed at the conclusion of the police station. The funeral of the presidents took place on November 25 in Washington. Farewell to him was held in the building of the Capitol, and this ceremony was attended by more than 200 thousand people. From there, on the carriage, the coffin was taken to St. Matthew’s Cathedral, where a funeral mass was served. And Kennedy is buried at the Arlington Memorial Cemetery.
Charles de Gaulle (November 22, 1890 – November 9, 1970).
This general of the French army founded and led during the Second World War the resistance movement “Fighting France”. Already in peacetime, de Gaulle stood at the founding of the Fifth Republic, becoming its first President. The general managed to take part in both world wars. The history of his appeal to the “Air Force” to all the French on June 18, 1940. De Gaulle called for a fight against the fascist occupation, which put the organization “Free France”, later renamed “Fighting France”, to the top. At the end of the war, a year and a half, the general led an interim government, resigning due to a series of political scandals. Until 1958, de Gaulle was in opposition to the current authorities. On December 21, 1958, the first general elections were held after the adoption of the new constitution. The Fifth Republic was proclaimed, and de Gaulle became its President. The general resigned on April 27, 1969. On November 9, 1970, Charles de Gaulle died suddenly in his estate of Colombe de las Egliz, the cause of death was the aortic rupture. The funeral of the national hero took place in the Cathedral of the Notre Dame – the main Catholic church in the country. Thousands of inconsolable Frenchmen were able to say goodbye to him there. And de Gaulle was buried in the village cemetery in Colombe in the presence of his closest relatives and friends in the Resistance.
Francisco Franco (December 4, 1892 – November 20, 1975).
This generalissimo usurped power in Spain from 1939 to 1975, heading also the Council of Ministers. Franco joined the army at the age of 18. First he served in the Spanish Foreign Legion, having managed at 34 years to become the youngest general in the history of the country. In July 1936, Franco took an active part in the military mutiny against the Spanish Republic. In the end, he was able to become the new leader of the nationalists, having received the title of leader – the caudillo. On April 1, 1939, Franco announced his victory over the Republicans, since then his military dictatorship began.But he managed to maintain a neutral position during World War II, supporting the fascist countries only economically. At the initiative of Franco, the memorial Valley of the Fall was erected in Spain, which became a monument to all victims of the Civil War in the country. In 1973, Franco was forced to resign from his post as head of the Cabinet – Parkinson’s disease took its toll. However, the title of leader remained behind him. On November 20, 1975, due to complications of the ulcer, Franco died. A common version says that the dictator was trying to do an operation that only worsened his condition. The funeral of Franco became a national event. On the whole path of the funeral cortege from the center of the capital and to the Valley, thousands of Spaniards saw off the last path of the dictator. Mao Zedong (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976).
This great man went down in history as the founder of the People’s Republic of China. For a long time Mao Zedong headed the Central Committee of the Communist Party of that country. Politics future leader began to deal with since 1917. Four years later, Mao joined the ranks of the newly formed Communist Party of China. In the mid-1930s he became one of the leaders of the communist movement in the country. Since 1949, almost all power in China has been concentrated in the hands of Mao Zedong. It was he who became the main ideologue of the two main reforms of the country. The “Cultural Revolution” and the “Great Leap Forward” made it possible to resolve domestic political problems and raise the country’s economy. Since 1971, Mao Zedong began to progress with Parkinson’s disease, the leader almost ceased to appear in public. September 9, 1976, the death of the Chinese leader, the third heart attack became his last. At the funeral of the leader of the nation gathered about a million people. A year later, Mao’s body was embroidered after embalming in a mausoleum on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Leonid Brezhnev (December 19, 1906 – November 10, 1982).
Brezhnev at the time of his death was the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, headed the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. In fact, he led the country from 1964 to 1982. Leonid Ilyich’s party career began in 1937. During the Great Patriotic War Brezhnev was engaged in political work at various levels. In 1960 he became chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. In 1964, Brezhnev took an active part in the displacement of his predecessor, Nikita Khrushchev. So he achieved the highest position in the country. In 1976, Brezhnev experienced a clinical death, from the consequences of which completely and could not recover. This led to a violation of speech and coordination of movement. The last time the Soviet leader appeared on public on November 7, 1982, taking a parade on Red Square on the occasion of the anniversary of the October Revolution. After 3 days, Brezhnev’s heart stopped. From 12 to 15 November the body of the General Secretary was exhibited in the Hall of Columns of the House of Unions, to bid farewell to the leader several hundred thousand people came. The funeral of Brezhnev took place at the Kremlin wall, at that moment all enterprises and organizations of the country stopped their work for 5 minutes.
Ruhola Mousavi Khomeini (May 17, 1900 – June 3, 1989).
Thanks to Khomeini, an Islamic revolution took place in Iran. He himself headed the state from 1979 to 1989. And Khomeini took up politics in the mid-1920s. From the very beginning, he tried to realize the idea of creating a theocratic state in Iran. As a result, for 14 years Khomeini was expelled from the country. Upon his return to the homeland, the politician led an Islamic revolution that overthrew the former ruler of the country, Shah Muhammad Reza Pahlavi. Khomeini had to enter the war with Iraq during the reign, which is the source of the sharp deterioration of relations between Iran and America. The reason for this was the seizure of the US embassy in 1979. Only after 444 days 52 hostages were released. After a massive heart attack in 1980, Khomeini lived in the suburbs of the capital together with his family.In 1989, he underwent surgery on the gastrointestinal tract, which led to a sharp deterioration in the health of the politician. In 10 years, Khomeini died. The whole path of the nation’s leader was seen without exaggeration. To say goodbye to the idol came from 10 to 17 million people. Khomeini was buried in the mausoleum near the cemetery Beshihte-Zahra, in the same place where the graves of fighters who had lost their heads during the Islamic revolution were located.
Princess Diana (July 1, 1961 – August 31, 1997).
Diana was the first wife of Prince Charles, heir to the English throne. Her charitable and peacekeeping activities won the love of the whole country. Diane was a distant relative of Winston Churchill himself. Married Miss Spencer joined the marriage on July 29, 1982. Two years later, the princess had a son William, and two years later another boy was Harry. In 1992, the marriage of Charles and Diana broke up, only 4 years later, the divorce proceedings, initiated by Queen Elizabeth II herself, ended. August 31, 1997 under very strange circumstances, Princess Diana died in a car accident in Paris. Along with her in the limousine was Dodi Al-Fayed, the son of a billionaire from Egypt. According to the official version, the catastrophe happened because of a significant excess of the permissible level of alcohol in the blood of the driver of the crashed car. On September 6, 1997, the funeral of a national favorite was held in the family estate Spencer. And earlier in London, the farewell ceremony took place, which took off from Buckingham Palace. In the ceremony of parting with Lady Diana attended by about a million people. Interest in funerals around the world was so great that on television, about 2.5 billion people watched them.
John Paul II (May 18, 1920 – April 2, 2005).
John Paul II succeeded in becoming the 264th Pope of Rome. At the same time he was the first representative of the Slavic peoples in this post. The length of the pontiff’s tenure in this post was the third in history. In the world the name of the Pope was Karol Wojtyla, he was born in Poland. His ordination to the priesthood took place on November 1, 1946. In 1967, Karol became a cardinal, and in October 1978 he was elected Pope. The new pontiff went down in history as John Paul II. The activity of this man truly knew no bounds. For 27 years of his sojourn at such a high post, John Paul II made 104 visits abroad, and on May 13, 1981, survived even an attempt. For a long time the Soviet Union was suspected of this. It was this Pope on December 1, 1989, who first met in history with the leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, in the Vatican. Experts believe that since 1994, Pope John Paul II has suffered severely from a progressive Parkinson’s disease. After 2001, its form became particularly severe. In the winter of 2005, the disease passed into a critical phase. On March 27, the Pope wanted to address the believers, but he could not even do it. On April 2, John Paul II died of septic shock caused by cardiovascular disease. His funeral took place on April 8. The funeral liturgy attracted 300,000 believers, and more than 4 million pilgrims came to the Pontiff on their last journey from the whole planet.
Kim Jong Il (February 16, 1942 – December 17, 2011).
This person became the second in the history of the head of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, he headed the Labor Party of his country, being also the Supreme Commander-in-Chief. Kim Jong Il was the son of the “eternal” President Kim Il Sung. His political career began in 1961, when the young man joined the Labor Party of Korea. By the end of his life, Kim Jong Il was able to concentrate in his hands all the highest positions of the state. When Kim Il Sung passed away, and three days of mourning passed, the leadership of Korea inherited the son of the leader.True, he formally became General Secretary of the Labor Party only in 1997, and the following year he became chairman of the DPRK Defense Committee, formally the highest position in the country. The achievement of Kim Jong-il can be called the conduct of successful nuclear weapons tests in North Korea. For a long time the leader of the country suffered from cardiovascular diseases. It is a heart attack and is called the official cause of Kim Jong Il’s death. The country’s leadership claims that the leader died while traveling with an inspection of the country in his armored train, although the intelligence of his southern neighbor believes that the death occurred in the leader’s house. On December 20, the body of Kim Jong-il in a glass sarcophagus was exhibited for farewell in the mausoleum of Kumsusan, where the body of Kim Il Sung is already lying. The funeral ceremony took place in 8 days. Over this time, say goodbye to the former ruler of the country has come more than 5 million people. Authorities said that even birds and animals mourned in the country of Kim Jong-il.
Vaclav Havel (October 5, 1936 – December 18, 2011).
This person became famous not only as a human rights activist, the last president of Czechoslovakia and the first president of the Czech Republic. Havel was a versatile figure, he was a famous playwright and writer. His literary career began back in 1955. During the Prague Spring of 1968, Havel began to conduct an active work of the human rights activist. He became one of the authors of the Charter-77. This program document created Czechoslovak dissidents. For his political activities Havel was judged three times, in 1977, 1979 and 1989. On December 29, 1989, at a meeting of two chambers of the Czechoslovak Federal Assembly, Vaclav Havel was elected President of the country. When Czechoslovakia split into two independent states, on February 2, 1993 he was elected the first president of a new country – the Czech Republic. Havel’s activities were quite vivid, in his time he supported the entry of NATO troops into Yugoslavia, and in 2011 spoke for the abolition of the presentation of the Quadriga prize to Vladimir Putin. For a long time Vaclav Havel was suffering from chronic inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. The last months of his life the former politician spent at his country house in Hradecke, where he died on December 18, 2011. To say goodbye to the first president of the country in the capital came tens of thousands of people, for the mourning ceremony came the leaders of many European countries. But Russia did not send condolences. But in the procedure of cremation itself involved only about a hundred people – relatives and close friends.